The title for today "Its 2009 Yo" is quite funny to me. It won't mean anything to you without this story. My son was in a semi-successful band that was signed to Geffen Records and made the national TV commercial for Pepsi Blue when it came out several years ago. Their song was chosen as the theme song for the product, and their first music video was based off of the commercial for the drink. So basically, his band depended on that drink. And the drink SUCKED. But they kept trying, and one of the singers was asked for lines for a new song they were working on, and the best he had, near the end of 2004, was "Its 2005 Yo". My son quit the band and headed off to college.
So how about 2009 and my poker game? Well, if you count the fact that last night's New Year's Eve game finished in 2009.....then this year started off with a bang. Twenty seven people sat down last night for a $50 buy in with a $50 rebuy/add on game. Nineteen people actually did add on or rebuy, so there was some nice money available. And around 2 AM, we decided to chop the pot among the final seven people. We did this because honestly, nobody was winning. We had been there since 7PM, and everyone had healthy chip stacks still.
Now, there's another factor that led to me agreeing to the chop. My wife was in the final seven also. She played her tail off last night. Since she was part of the chop, together we were getting $680. First place for the entire tournament was $780, so together we were basically getting first place money. I'll take that chop any day of the week.
Another factor was even more important. At that final seven were 4 of the best players I regularly play with. It isn't like I was confident of winning. Would have been a great match though if we had gotten there at 11 PM instead of 2 AM though.
So, 2009 either began, or 2008 ended, with a really nice cash in a game played with some of my best friends.
So where does 2009 go for me and poker? If you had asked me that a few weeks ago, I might have answered "nowhere, I quit". But I think I have refound my passion, and I KNOW I've refound my confidence, so we're rolling into the new year ready to really improve.
That being said, here are my NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS FOR POKER in 2009:
1. I resolve to improve my cash game play. I know that the REAL money in poker is found in cash games, and not in tournaments.
2. I resolve to get to Vegas at least twice this year. I really don't care about the World Series of Poker. It is a vastly overrated event that makes MILLIONS for the hotels, restaurants and casinos. The real poker players that everyone knows and loves (like Doyle Brunson) play it for exposure, and even more important, they play it for free. Someone else picks up their entry fees.
3. I resolve to help make the new gambling laws in Colorado a success. The three casino towns in Colorado will soon raise their limits from a maximum of a $5 bet to a maximum of a $100 bet, and that means I'll make some money finally in Cripple Creek and Black Hawk. You simply can't ever recover any loss when the max you can bet is $5.
4. I resolve to play in the Heartland Poker Tour events in Black Hawk, CO this year. I've just found too many reasons to not play last year, and that was a mistake. It isn't winning it that I'm thinking of, its playing it. The local casinos go to the trouble of bringing this tour to our state, and I should support it.
5. I resolve to get my wife even more involved in the game. I don't feel nearly as bad about the time I spend playing it when she's there with me. And lets be honest, she's pretty good.
6. I resolve to form a poker discussion group that is devoted to the better play of every member. And the members will be chosen carefully. If they do not bring real benefit or insight to the group, then they are there for their OWN benefit, rather than the benefit of the group. I cannot imagine this group ever being more than 5 people.
7. I resolve to play to win. Winning is defined in terms of MONEY, not HANDS. I know too many people that think winning a bunch of hands equals success. So they just play more hands. In reality, winning one giant pot is far better than winning 10 small pots. So I will weigh my success only in terms of how much PROFIT I make, and not in terms of how well I think I played. If I leave the table with profit, then I'll know how well I played.
8. I resolve to stop criticizing someone else's play. If they are willing to risk their money on speculation, then in the long run they will be profitable TO ME. So I should welcome their bad play, and not criticize it.
9. I resolve to wait until January 1st, 2010 to determine how well I did in 2009, rather than worrying about any individual game or tournament. There were far too many things in 2008 that I though were really bad, and then yesterday I open my tracking spreadsheet and the truth was right in front of me. I had a very good year.
10. I resolve to never make a donkey call; never chase an insight straight; never call with 2nd best hand; never go on tilt; and never waste chips speculating. Its my blog, I can resolve anything I want. New Year's Resolutions are made to be broken anyway.